Incredible ride: Raina posts heartfelt message after international retirement

Former India batsman Suresh Raina on Sunday posted a heartfelt message on his Instagram handle, thanking all those who helped build his international career.

Raina retired from international cricket on Saturday minutes after his former teammate and Indian captain MS Dhoni did the same.

Raina posted a video with a lengthy message in the caption on his Instagram handle. The video contained a montage of various moments of Raina’s career, especially those he spent with Dhoni.

“With a lot of mixed feelings I’m able to make the announcement of my retirement,” wrote the 33-year-old batsman.

“From a very young age, I as a small boy had literally lived cricket on every street, gali and nukkad of my small town before making it to the Indian team.”

“All I have known is cricket, all I have done is cricket and it runs through my veins,” Raina said.

“There hasn’t been a single day without counting my blessings and without acknowledging everything I have received from God as well as people who showered nothing but love on me.”

“All I strived for was to value those blessings and give my everything in return to my game, to my country and everyone who has been a part of this journey,” Raina added.

“I had multiple surgeries, setbacks and moments when I felt that this is it but I didn’t stop or settle for anything which was not justified.”

“It’s been an incredible ride and it would not have been possible without everyone who supported me during my ups and downs. This journey could not have been possible without the unflinching support and sacrifices of my parents, my loving wife Priyanka, my children Gracia and Rio, my brothers, my sister and all members of our family. This is all (sic) you.”

“My coaches who always showed me the right direction, my physicians for helping me heal and my trainers for helping me perform at the highest level,” Raina recalled.

“My boys in BLUE, nothing would have been possible without the support of the wonderful Indian Team in blue. I had the pleasure of playing with the best of the very best players and all of them played for Team India. I feel lucky to have played under the captaincy of some of the best minds in the game such as Rahul Bhai (Rahul Dravid), Anil Bhai (Anil Kumble), Sachin Paaji (Sachin Tendulkar), Chiku (Virat Kohli) and especially with @mahi7781 (MS Dhoni) for guiding me as a friend and mentor.”

“Thank you @indiancricketteam and @upcacricket for all the support and making the dreams of a boy from UP wanting to play for Team India come true.”

“And lastly my fans, I am what I am because of the love and adulation that you have showered upon me through the years.”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone who supported me in playing international cricket at the highest level. I’ll always be filled with nothing but gratitude. Forever, Team India. Jai Hind.”

Raina scored 5,615 runs in 226 ODI matches, which included five centuries and 1,605 runs, and one century in 78 T20s. He was the first indian player to score a century in T20 cricket and the first from the country to score a century in all three formats of the game.

Though he scored a hundred on Test debut, Raina managed to play only 18 games in the longest format and scored 768 runs. His century on debut was also his only ton in the longest format of the game.

Renowned for his agility in the field, Raina was part of the Indian teams that won the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy, both under the captaincy of Dhoni.